(TULSA)– On Saturday and Sunday, May 20 and 21, PEN Tulsa and author James Hannaham will host two free expression-centered events that celebrate Hannaham’s latest novel, Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta, and address the homophobia and transphobia embedded in the recent wave of book bans in Oklahoma and across the country. The events are a collaboration with interdisciplinary artist Kalup Linzy, TYPROS, the Tulsa Artist Fellowship, the Queen Rose House, and Fulton Street Books and Coffee.

Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta is a 2023 Lambda Literary Award nominee in Transgender Fiction and New York Times 100 Notable Book of 2022. This darkly comic and incisive novel follows a trans woman who re-enters life on the outside after more than twenty years in a men’s prison.

On May 20, Kalup Linzy will host “Carlotta: The Party” at the Queen Rose Art House, described as a joyous celebration of queerness and free expression. The Queen Rose Art house is located at 843 North Birmingham Place,Tulsa. Doors open at 5 pm  local time. This event will feature live performances, information on how to push back against recent LGBTQ-focused book bans, and a joyous dance party DJ’d by DJ Kylie. The party is 21+. Tickets are $5 with all proceeds going to the Queen Rose Art House.

On May 21 at 4 pm, Fulton Street Bookstore and Coffee will host James Hannaham for “Carlotta: the Reading,” a thought provoking conversation with the author. James will discuss his inspiration for the novel and his thoughts on the ongoing censorship of queer voices in Oklahoma and nationwide. Fulton Street Books and Coffee is at 210 W Latimer St, Tulsa.

Register in advance for the 5/20 event and for the 5/21 event.

Kalup Linzy said: “I am looking forward to hosting James in Tulsa and celebrating his culturally relevant book Didn’t Nobody Give A Shit What Happened To Carlotta. During these challenging times for the queer community, his presence and book is a welcome one.”

In this era of increased literary censorship, Hannaham said of his latest novel,

[…] the title alone is like waving a red cape in front of a right-wing bull. Let alone that it centers the story of an urban Black trans woman. Why do we defy? Because free expression means free expression. You don’t wanna wear a mask? Y’all don’t want no vaccine? Fine. You are free to get Covid and die! But don’t try to tell people who are just living their lives, like Carlotta—incarcerated for decades in a prison that refuses to acknowledge her gender identity—like us, that our free expression should shut up while all your foolishness runs rampant.

Hannaham is the author of the novels God Says No, a Stonewall Book Award finalist, and Delicious Foods, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize and Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalist as well as a New York Times Notable Book. He lives in Brooklyn, where he teaches at the Pratt Institute.

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Learn more at pen.org.

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], 201-247-5057 and William Johnson, [email protected]